How To Make Gatehouse Security Work

What is the purpose of Gatehouse Security?  Access control, which is an important part of business and residential operations.  Unauthorize entry can mean physical threats to residents or employees, property crime threats, and access to sensitive and protected business secrets by unauthorizes persons.  So, it is important for businesses and residential gated communities to have a good Gatekeeper (Security Officer) at the entrance of their facility or community.  Horizon refers to their Gatekeepers as, “Ambassadors,” the first face you make contact with can make or break an experience, that’s why having an Ambassador with a welcoming demeaner and a helpful attitude can have a positive impact on the entire community or business. 

In this blog we are going to look at what makes a good Ambassador.  We will also look at the equipment the client needs to provide and the role of the security company for a productive gatehouse operation. 

What makes a good Ambassador: 

  1. A clean pressed uniform
  2. The Ambassador should always be well groomed.
  3. A welcoming demeanor.  A smile and a nice greeting, “Hello Sir/Ma’am, welcome to Green Grove, how can I help you today?”   
  4. Computer literate
  5. The ability to follow post orders in reference to visitor entry.  There are usually 2-3 ways visitors can gain entry to a property, do not make exceptions for anyone.
  6. Turning away unauthorized visitors that can’t be confirmed for entry, in a professional and friendly way. 
  7. Standing firm on all community or company rules in reference to Visitors and Residents.
  8. Knowing when it is time to call the property manager or Law Enforcement to assist you.  If a visitor is threatening and refuses to move his/her vehicle out of the line others can be processed, knowing who and when to call for assistance, and in what order, is key to a successful entry process.    

Clients Roles:

  1. A functional gatehouse that has electricity and a working bathroom.
  2. Internet access and a landline telephone connected.
  3. At least two entry/exit gates that work with easy push button or switch operation, exit should be automatic.   Entry scan code stickers for quick entry through the resident gate.
  4. An updated and functional entry software system with a database of residents or employees.  Also, if residential, a list of visitors/vendors (for each resident) that can enter the community without the security officer contacting the resident for permission each time they enter.
  5. Procedures on how the Board of Directors, or Company Management, wants to allow non-listed visitors and vendors to enter the community.   Usually, the officer will have to confirm entry by calling the resident or a specific employee.
  6. Other rules and procedures the officers are to follow (post order content). 
  7. Identify the HOA Board Member who is the security liaison or Security Director for a company.  This person will be the contact for the security officers and management.  Any security problems or concerns will be reported to him/her and they will report to the board or upper management.   
  8. Prompt payment to the security company is always a good practice. 

Security Company Role:

  1. To provide skilled and experienced security officers.
  2. To provide presentable uniforms and working equipment.
  3. To provide officer training, and retraining, based on the clients needs and requests.
  4. To write the post orders with client feedback, if warranted.  Also, to make changes when a change in post procedures has been established by the client or company management.
  5. To establish an officer reporting/tracking and sign-on/off program.
  6. Management support to the security officers and clients alike.
  7. Supervise security officers to make sure their work is up to standards
  8. Meet with clients to make sure they are completely satisfied with your service, if not,  find out what is wrong and fix it immediately.  Let the client know the issue(s) have been fixed and you will personally monitor the progress. 

Ambassadors, Clients, and the Security Company have their roles in making a Gatehouse Security operation work.  If one doesn’t do their part the security program can, and most likely will, be compromised and breakdown.  Security Managers need to step up and make sure the company and employees are doing what they are supposed to do for a successful operation and a happy client. 

Ryan Green

Horizon Security

President/Managing Owner

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